Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Opportunity to learn about and potentially appreciate the animal kingdom of the Arctic North and the natural environment of Lapland, in northern Scandinavia. Viewers will also learn how climate change, and human endeavors like deforestation and road construction, directly affect the environment.
The natural world has rules and order passed down through centuries, and humans must understand it in order to protect it. Human actions and climate change are negatively affecting that natural order.
Positive Role Models
Natural instinct of mothers and herds is to care for, protect each other and their young. Mothers teach their babies perseverance, courage, self-confidence, self-care, survival habits. Animals grow quickly to embody these characteristics, take on knowledge and traditions of their ancestors. Humans can learn from animal behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Animals in nature face predators, including other animals, weather changes, natural disasters, and human encroachment on their environment. Death is a constant threat.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Animals of all kinds enter mating season and seek out partners of the opposite gender. Male reindeer compete for dominance in order to "receive the favors" of the females. Mothers birth and nurse their cubs.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Lapland and the Arctic North are on display.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Reindeer's Journey offers an engaging look into the natural world but doesn't hold back from showing the harsh realities of the animal kingdom. The narration builds suspense and foreshadows potential harm to the wild reindeer herd, including the baby reindeer at the heart of the story, which could cause younger viewers angst. Animals die, but the actual killing or moment of death is never shown. There's also some frank discussion of male reindeer competing for "the favors" of the females. As a viewing experience for the whole family: The potential for learning about and appreciating the natural world outweighs the scarier or sadder moments, and the young reindeer and his mother emerge unharmed. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film has the potential to enthrall even those viewers who don't normally enjoy nature documentaries. It does so through a combination of gorgeous aerial and on-the-ground cinematography matched with an engaging narration that translates the animal world for humans. Voiced by Donald Sutherland, the omniscient narrator takes you by the hand and gently, knowingly guides you into the reindeer's world, explaining what the animals are thinking and doing and feeling. He transfers human sentiments to their kingdom in a poetic, almost philosophical way. "Do you think this world is tough?" he prods. "You're right." But it's worth living another day to experience all that life has to offer.
There's suspense: Will Ailo survive his precarious first year in the face of incessant dangers, will the wolverines attack the vulnerable domesticated reindeer, will the wolf pack catch the wild reindeer? There's also humor: Ailo mimicking the actions of a rabbit, the narrator describing the tasty lemming as the "chicken nugget of the Arctic." And there's stunning beauty in Lapland's frozen landscape, its prophetic northern lights, the fjords where the sea "carves the mountains like lace," the vast and varied animal kingdom. You can't help but wonder how the filmmakers managed to meld into this closed ecosystem and track the animals so closely, but you'll be very glad they did. In addition to A Reindeer's Journey's subtle ecological message, Ailo's fight for survival has important lessons for us all.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.